One of the most divisive issues in pediatrics today concerns the proper response by pediatricians to parents who refuse routine childhood immunizations for their children. Many pediatricians refuse to care for such families. Others continue to provide care and continue to try to convince parents that the benefits of immunizations far outweigh the risks. Two of the most powerful arguments in favor of dismissing such parents are as follows: (1) their refusal suggests such lack of trust in the physicians’ recommendations that it undermines the basis for a meaningful physician–patient–parent relationship; and (2) unimmunized children present an unacceptable risk to other children in the physicians’ waiting rooms. This article examines those arguments.
Should Pediatric Practices Have Policies to Not Care for Children With Vaccine-Hesitant Parents?
POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Dr Alexander is a paid speaker and consultant for Merck Vaccines; the other authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
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Kenneth Alexander, Tomas A. Lacy, Angela L. Myers, John D. Lantos; Should Pediatric Practices Have Policies to Not Care for Children With Vaccine-Hesitant Parents?. Pediatrics October 2016; 138 (4): e20161597. 10.1542/peds.2016-1597
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